What is DeafnessCommon QuestionsADA InformationAmerican Sign Language ASLASL ClassesDeaf News & ChurchesDeaf Interesting FactsJobs Needed for Deaf peopleAbout Me
American Sign Language - ASL
True or False? "Sign Language is a universal language used throughout the world..."
This is False. There are as many sign languages as spoken languages - American Sign Language, Spanish Sign Language, Japanese Sign Language, British Sign Language, etc. There is no 'universal sign language' used among Deaf people.
American Sign Language (ASL) is a true language with its own grammar, syntax, and rules of linguistics: It is very complex. It is not English.
Sign Language is not universal - just as there is not one universal spoken language. Sign Language, as with spoken language, is tied to culture. There are as many sign languages as there are cultures - American Sign Language, French Sign Language, German Sign Language, Japanese Sign Language, British Sign Language, etc.)
ASL includes signs made with the hands, facial movements (such as raised eyebrows and parted or closed lips), head tilts, body movements and a myriad of other things - all of which change or add to meaning.
ASL includes fingerspelling, but is not made up of mostly fingerspelling.
ASL classes should always be taught by a Deaf teacher when possible. Even interpreters cannot teach the language as someone Deaf can - they have the experience and depth of knowledge of this intricate language to be able to give it justice. Only in the event that no Deaf teachers are available should someone that is hearing teach ASL. Besides there is no class more fun than one taught by someone who is Deaf.
See Links below for more information regarding the language and classes.
Signing Language Video Dictionary:
Learn and practice fingerspelling:
Educational and linguistic info related to ASL:
Many thanks to the students of Jean Massieu Academy in Grand Prairie, Texas Special
Education Department and their teacher Alyssa for this wonderful website:
Signing for babies and young children:
Sign Language for children... (see links to the right and bottom of this page for additional videos to see)
Classes (see the link for ASL Classes - on the left)